The Shining: Review

HEEERE’S JOHNNY! one of the most famous scenes of all time (source: IFC center)

The Shining is one of the most famous, and simply iconic horror films of all time. Thanks to the brilliant story written by Stephen King, and the visionary directing of Stanley Kubrick, we have The Shining. Kubrick did adapt the film from King’s book, and King has famously said that he’s not very fond of Kubrick’s re-imagining of the film, however, most everyone else is. 

Nicholson and Duvall on their 27th take of the great room scene (source: Fanpop)

The Shining follows the Torrance family, led by the patriarch Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) his wife Wendy, (Shelly Duvall) and their young son Danny (Danny Lloyd) after Jack is offered the job opportunity to be the offseason caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, Jack will finally have some peace and quiet to work on his new book. Maybe too much peace and quiet

Three of the most famous moments from the film (source: The New York Times)

Once Jack takes his family out to tour the hotel, we learn a little bit more about it and its dark history. It’s revealed to Jack in confidentiality that the last caretaker had gone crazy and had killed his wife and daughters with an axe. Knowing this, Jack takes the job, his family will be willing to come along, and they are.

When winter falls on the Overlook Hotel, tensions rise in the Torrance family. Danny, the five year old son of Jack and Wendy, begins to notice his imaginary friend “Tony” is becoming more active, causing suspicion in Danny, as well as his mother. However, Jack can’t seem to be bothered with any of this, because he’s been hard at work on his lonely typewriter.

The Overlook Hotel external set (source: Stephen King Wiki)

Stanley Kubrick, at the time, had already cemented himself one of the greatest filmmakers to ever live, with classic films like, A Clockwork Orange, Dr. Strangelove, and Full Metal Jacket, and here, Kubrick shines brighter than ever.  Incredible set design, cutting-edge practical effects, at the time matched by no one (other than maybe George Lucas)

The Shining has inspired my love of horror, and has also sparked my interest in the filmmaking process and the technical aspects behind it, and I strongly believe that matter who you are, and whether you’ve seen this movie before, it will definitely do something for you. If you haven’t seen it in a few years, please watch it again. It really is a fantastic movie.

Doctor Sleep is a “semi-sequel” to The Shining detailing the life of Danny 34 years after the events at the overlook hotel. Doctor Sleep releases on November 8, 2019.

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